Experienced paceman Lasith Malinga has been included in Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews-led 15-man squad for the Champions Trophy in June.
Malinga, who has a chronic knee problem, has not featured in an ODI since November 2015, but returns to bolster a squad desperately in need of genuine pace options and experience. He is the IPL’s highest wicket-taker in history, but hasn’t enjoyed a successful return in the four matches he’s played so far. With 191 ODIs to his name, the former T20 skipper will be aiming to feature in his first ODI for almost two years.
‘Malinga has got his medical clearance to bowl ten overs, since about two weeks ago. We need to build him up to bowl ten overs now,’ said Thilanga Sumathipala, Sri Lanka Cricket’s president. ‘He is playing in the IPL, which is to our advantage because he is in a top-class cricketing environment and he is practising.’
Elsewhere, Chamara Kapugedera, who made his ODI debut way back in 2006, has been included, but there’s no room for Test all-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva, or promising pace bowler Lahiru Kumara, who both played in the five-match ODI series against the Proteas.
Sri Lanka will play two ODIs against Scotland, before practice matches against Australia and New Zealand. Their campaign begins against South Africa at The Oval on June 3.
Sri Lanka Squad: Angelo Mathews (capt), Upul Tharanga, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella, Chamara Kapugedera, Asela Gunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Nuwan Pradeep, Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Seekkuge Prasanna, Lakshan Sandakan.
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images